There are some good products available on the market that we’re calling “smart products” or “smart controllers” that are designed to conserve water and schedule your irrigation system according to the conditions that are occurring on your property.
Controllers have come a long way in the last few years. This happens to be an example of what we call a smart controller. On the face of the clock, it looks like a standard clock. However, it has some extra functions programmed in that will ask about the plant materiasl on the site and the soil.
When I open the next panel, there is a small unit which is communicating with the devices that are located on the roof. These devices are collecting information such as rainfall, temperature, solar radiation, and sometimes wind can also be detected.
Many of the smart controllers will operate differently than a standard controller. So, if you have a controller already, or an irrigation system, you’ll notice that the smart controller does a lot of cycle and soaking. It’s a good idea to check with your local contractor and see what devices that they’re using and what they’re familiar with. However, the bottom line is that smart controllers are designed to conserve water and save money.
This feature story prepared with Cathie Lavis, Kansas State University Research and Extension Professor of Landscape Management. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at KansasGreenYards.org.